The Enid
Dust


3.0
good

Review

by praise jimmy STAFF
April 9th, 2016 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aerie faerie eye catching nonsense makes no sense at all

After the success of 2012’s Invicta, it seemed as The Enid had a definite future. Joe Payne was making a name for himself within the progressive community for his marvelous vocal prowess, while Jason Ducker was emerging as a guitarist to keep an eye on. Robert John Godfrey was further cementing his legacy, and was finally getting the recognition that he deserved after decades of painstaking effort. Yet, with success always came complications far greater than anyone could comprehend. Upon driving home one day, Godfrey had lost his way and couldn’t remember even the most minor details, leading to the revelation that he had Alzheimer’s disease.

After Godfrey’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2014, the decision was made to gradually step down as bandleader, marking a shocking, yet vital upheaval if The Enid were to survive without him in the event that he was no longer able to perform due to his condition. Due to the change in power within the band, Godfrey was now playing a role more akin to support with the hopes that frontman Joe Payne would assume the role of bandleader. This plan would take form starting with 2015’s The Bridge, the first in a series of albums that would showcase individual members of the band, this one focusing on Payne and his budding songwriting abilities.

Dust, the follow-up to 2012’s Invicta, is the third and final part of the “Journey’s End” trilogy – spanning over six years, the trilogy brought forth a more streamlined sound that The Enid hadn’t displayed since the 1980s. The band had also changed lineups within that period, with Joe Payne making his arrival on Invicta, taking over Max Read’s role as the band’s vocalist. Nic Willes left in 2014 (though he performed on this album), Dominic Tofield left as quickly as he had shown up, and Zachary Bullock was brought in as Godfrey’s protégé. The Enid simply just can’t keep a consistent lineup from the looks of it.

In recent times, Godfrey has never been the most kind figure in the progressive rock community, seemingly always eager to aim rather harsh criticism at his contemporaries; such as Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, with such quotes like “prog is bog” and describing the content as being “shallow, meaningless nonsense”, decrying a genre that has admittedly grown stagnant in recent years. Godfrey’s complaints are, for the most part, startlingly on point. The general formula for the progressive community has come down to an idea that an artist must replicate the sound of classic artists, with Wilson and Opeth being among the many who have the talent to make such inspiring music, yet churn out albums that imitate the classics without fail. With Godfrey’s scathing criticisms in mind, that is where the problem with The Enid’s latest offering, Dust lies.

From first listen, it’s glaringly obvious that the influence that Joe Payne has on the band is growing, with every single song over the forty-two minute album being replete with his high, operatic vocals. The arrangements throughout the album, in comparison to Journey’s End and Invicta, are at worst, unimpressive. The band almost seems preoccupied with trying to fit Payne’s lyrics with the most rambunctious music possible to a point where you wouldn’t be able to tell if this was a prog rock album or a low-end musical theatre production at the West End in London. From the very start, ”Born in the Fire” could pass off as the loud, obnoxious introduction to a stage play, vocal acrobatics and all. It’s all there, and it surely doesn’t let up for the duration of Dust, even in its best moments. Glimpses of Godfrey’s compositional ability shine through in the patriotic-sounding ”Someone Shall Rise” and album highlight "1000 Stars", but for the most part, it hardly feels like he’s even present on the album. However, Godfrey is credited as being a composer for all seven songs on Dust, alongside Payne, Read, and Ducker.

Unfortunately, the problem that plagues Dust is the very criticism that Godfrey had doted about. A solid degree of Dust contains the bored, insipid instrumentation and questionable lyricism that offers (and I quote Godfrey on this) “no content that is memorable or meaningful”. Dust has its moments, but for every highlight, there are segments complete with Payne’s overbearing vocals that make the experience one that you’d want to forget. The callbacks to the previous two albums of the trilogy are neat inclusions, but tend to get tiring when you have to hear the oft-repeated “you’re welcome” just to remind the listener that this is, in fact, a series of albums with a concept that often gets lost on the listener, even on subsequent listens. The band’s shortest album in quite a while, Dust has a knack for melody and to a lesser extent, rhythm. The band plays great together despite the near constant shifts within the lineup, but tends to get obscured by Payne. It’s a shame, because while Payne does have a great voice, he’s just there sometimes. Moments where the band could shine are eclipsed by Payne trying his best to show off his abilities as the band’s singer to a point where it gets incredibly tedious to deal with. Whereas Invicta had made the compromise between the vocal and instrumental factions, Dust forsakes the latter to make a very melodious album, yet comes across as uninspired at points.

As the final album of the “Journey’s End” trilogy, Dust is a considerably forgettable album that has its flashes of brilliance, but is certainly part of the problem within the progressive community.



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user ratings (14)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
JJKeys (4)
The Enid presents 'Dust: The Musical'...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

The Enid are:



Robert John Godfrey - Keyboards

Joe Payne - Vocals

Max Read - Choir, Vocoder and Programming

Jason Ducker - Guitar and Bass

Nic Willes - Bass

Dominic Tofield - Drums (Someone Shall Rise)

Dave Storey - Drums

Zachary Bullock - Keyboards (Monsters)



Someone Shall Rise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3sktYQEmmA



Rating: 2.9

Mort.
April 9th 2016


16631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"The band almost seems preoccupied with trying to fit Payne’s lyrics with the most rambunctious music possible to a point where you wouldn’t be able to tell if this was a prog rock album or a low-end musical theatre production at the West End in London. From the very start, ”Born in the Fire” could pass off as the loud, obnoxious introduction to a stage play, vocal acrobatics and all"



describes how i felt about this perfectly, posd

Digging: Kayo Dot - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue

JJKeys
April 9th 2016


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YOU BETRAYED ME FRIPP, YOU SAID THIS WAS A 3.5

JJKeys
April 9th 2016


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair points though Fripp, I'm bringing up a lot of similar views in my review still to come - though I feel like I'll be a little more lenient towards Payne's influence on Dust.



Also just watch out where you've referenced song titles - you've missed out some inverted commas around 1000 Stars



Otherwise a solid review - enjoyed reading the recent events of the band's lineup changing especially

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Thanks, I'll make some adjustments when I get back home.

ArsMoriendi
April 9th 2016


35360 Comments


This album sounds like it'd be awful honestly

good review

Digging: Blonde Redhead - 23

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

eh, knowing you, I think you'd enjoy the obnoxiousness of it all since you tend to go for the obnoxious tryhard zany shit.



thanks tho

ArsMoriendi
April 10th 2016


35360 Comments


"tryhard"

Listen to Chocolate and Cheese tbh

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

listen to The United States of America.

MyNameIsPencil
April 10th 2016


6259 Comments


"Unfortunately"

great review, pos

Digging: Injury Reserve - Injury Reserve

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

thak

Tyler.
April 10th 2016


18434 Comments


Enid me

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

chesse

Sinternet
April 10th 2016


24418 Comments


i like their early stuff, some of the only prog i can dig but yeah this is trash

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

It's a bummer because the previous two are leagues beyond this.

Sinternet
April 10th 2016


24418 Comments


haven't heard those, they good?

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Journey's End is a lot more focused on the arrangements with only Terra Firma and Malacandra having vocals (by Max Read, Joe Payne wouldn't be in the band for another two years, plus Read had been doing vocals for the band since the 90s). Invicta has Payne on it, and his influence is rather minimal in comparison to this, but his work on that is stellar. I don't know what went wrong in between aside from the obvious problems with Godfrey, but to go from something as passionate as Invicta to something as dull and overly theatrical as this? What a total let down.



Heads up in case you download Invicta, the 9 minute instrumental "Heaven's Gate" was oddly not transferred completely, with a ton of torrents having the incomplete version. There's a complete version on a discography bundle on ru.tracker that has the band's stuff from '76 to 2015, with some fan club material and some stuff from the Inner Sanctum label (when they were legally contracted with the label and before the label attempted to claim they own the band's name and their music)

JJKeys
April 10th 2016


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's also a YouTube upload of the entirety of 'Invicta' on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxZBAelv_rc - it repeats the first 10 seconds of 'Who Created Me' for some weird reason, though

As much as I like Dust, I do have to agree that Invicta is the strongest of the trilogy

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Cool to see people are getting more of the band's works on Youtube, even if they sometimes mislabel them (labelling Region's 84 remake as the original, using Inner Sanctum's poor quality vinyl rips, etc.)



You ever think of doing some of their more obscure releases? I was thinking of doing Sundialer, but I think I plan on covering The Beach Boys' discography as soon as I take care of Journey's End and Invicta. You could cover RJG's solo works however. There's a very obscure instrumental prog album from '72 called Distance Between Us by an artist called Don Bradshaw-Leather that's rumoured to be Godfrey, or he was part of the band on the album, thinking of delving further into that one soon...



(Okay, and just found out the album was made by one person alone. Godfrey wasn't part of it, but like Godfrey, Don Bradshaw-Leather was classically trained and was a highly skilled composer. From what I found, he was born in Essex in '48, and died in the 90s. David Tibet of Current 93 now owns the masters and it seems a reissue is imminent, though a bootleg recently came out on vinyl.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX1EiEe25A

JJKeys
April 10th 2016


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll definitely be checking them out in time but I can't see myself reviewing them - even doing just 2 Enid reviews is driving me mad, plus I don't have the patience to do frequent reviews anymore. I've done like, 3 in the past year on Sputnik?



Thanks Fripp though, I'll check that out! - oh and gratz on the feature



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